mod_rewrite With GoDaddy 4GH Hosting

April 19th, 2011

29FIVE Designs recently upgraded all of our hosting to GoDaddy’s new 4GH cluster hosting. We immediately noticed a significant performance improvement in all our sites due to the cluster style web hosting. However, all of our PHP URL masks achieved via Apache’s mod_rewrite in htaccess broke. After about four days of support calls with GoDaddy and being told numerous different stories, it was finally confirmed to us that URL masking for PHP files is not globally enabled on the 4GH servers (although HTML masking is). This is a change from their “legacy” hosting which had masking for both HTML and PHP enabled globally.

As GoDaddy does not provide scripting support, we were left with attempting to configure our htaccess files such that they would actually work with the 4GH hosting. We were finally able to find the proper configuration and would like to share our findings with anyone who may be experiencing the same issue:

Options FollowSymLinks
Options -MultiViews
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}\.php -f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1.php


Ubuntu Static IP

February 9th, 2011

Set Static IP

  1. sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
  2. Set the following in the file:
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet static
  3. Restart networking
    sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart


  1. sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
  2. Set the following in the file:
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet dhcp
  3. Restart networking
    sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

PHP Stored In MySQL Database

November 24th, 2010

Sometimes it’s helpful to store PHP code in a database and have it execute prior to displaying in the end user’s browser. This can easily be accomplished by using the PHP eval() function.

Assuming the MySQL table appears as follows:

|         code |
| Hello World! |

This can be displayed in the browser by using the following PHP code:

<?php echo $row_table['code']; ?>

Which will appear in the browser as follows: “Hello World!”

However, if the table contains mixed, PHP and HTML content, as follows:

|                                                code |
| <p>My PHP script: <?php echo 'Hello World'; ?>.</p> |

This can be displayed by using the following PHP code:

<?php eval('?>'.$row_table['code'].'<?php '); ?>

The browser will display “My PHP script: Hello World.”

This essentially tells the web server to execute the PHP code between the PHP tags and print the output along with the rest of the string not between the PHP tags.

If however, the MySQL field is storing only PHP code as follows:

|                               code |
| echo 'Three plus five is: '.3 + 5; |

The eval() function may be used as follows:

<?php eval($row_table['code']); ?>

The browser would display “Three plus five is: 8″


Multiple Distribution Lists

October 22nd, 2010

Omega Fraternal released improved email distribution list management today. Chapters are now able to manage multiple email distribution lists to fine tune communication to members.

Omega Fraternal still has the ability to manage your main distribution list as well as auto-joining new members to the default list. For those discretionary lists however, membership administrators can specify which distribution lists each member is a subscriber to.

From the front-end interface, members can view all of the distribution lists the Chapter utilizes and who is a subscriber to each list.

Just as before, when a membership manager or a member updates an email address, that changes is automatically rippled and reflected throughout all of the distribution lists.

We’re really excited about this release because this is just another small step in making Omega Fraternal the premier fraternity and sorority management system.


PHP Twitter Feed

October 19th, 2010

Here are two simple functions to display Twitter feeds on your website using PHP. The twitter_feed() function pulls the feed from Twitter RSS and returns it as a variable. This function also stores the feed in a database where it can be called in cases where the Twitter RSS feed is unavailable.

//Twitter Feed
function twitter_feed($username, $rss) {
  $hostname_connection = "db_hostname";
  $database_connection = "db_database";
  $username_connection = "db_username";
  $password_connection = "db_password";
  $connection = mysql_pconnect($hostname_connection, $username_connection, $password_connection) or die(mysql_error());
  $twitter_feed = '<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="content_twitter" valign="baseline"><a href="http://twitter.com/'.$username.'" target="_blank"><img src="twitter-follow-me.png" alt="Twitter" border="0" align="right"></a>';
  $feedURL = $rss;
  $doc = new DOMDocument();
  if($doc->load($feedURL)) {
    $arrFeeds = array();
    foreach ($doc->getElementsByTagName('item') as $node) {
      $itemRSS = array ( 
        'title' => $node->getElementsByTagName('title')->item(0)->nodeValue,
        'pubDate' => $node->getElementsByTagName('pubDate')->item(0)->nodeValue
      array_push($arrFeeds, $itemRSS);
    $limit = 5;
    for($x=0; $x<$limit; $x++) {
      $title = str_replace('bavotasan: ', '', $arrFeeds[$x]['title']);
      $string = ereg_replace("[[:alpha:]]+://[^<>[:space:]]+[[:alnum:]/]","<a class=\"twitter_link\" href=\"\\0\" target=\"_blank\">\\0</a>", $title); 
      $pattern = '/[#|@][^\s]*/';
      preg_match_all($pattern, $string, $matches);    
      foreach($matches[0] as $keyword) {
        $keyword = str_replace(")", "", $keyword);
        $link = str_replace("#", "%23", $keyword);
        $link = str_replace("@", "", $keyword);
        if(strstr($keyword, "@")) {
          $search = '<a href="http://twitter.com/'.$link.'" target="_blank">'.$keyword.'</a>';
        else {
          $link = urlencode($link);
          $search = '<a href="http://twitter.com/#search?q='.$link.'" target="_blank">'.$keyword.'</a>';
        $string = str_replace($keyword, $search, $string);
      $length = strlen($string);
      $string = substr($string, 15, $length);
      $twitter_feed .= '<a href="http://twitter.com/'.$username.'" target="_blank">@'.$username.'</a>: '.$string.'<div class="twitter_time">'.twitter_time($arrFeeds[$x]['pubDate']).' via Twitter</div><br />';
    $twitter_feed .= '</td></tr><tr><td align="right"><a href="http://twitter.com/'.$username.'" target="_blank">..::Follow Us!</a></td></tr></table>';
    $updateSQL = sprintf('UPDATE twitter SET details="'.$twitter_feed.'" WHERE account="'.$username.'"');

    mysql_select_db($database_connection, $connection);
    mysql_query($updateSQL, $connection) or die(mysql_error());
  else {
    mysql_select_db($database_connection, $connection);
    $query_twitter = sprintf('SELECT * FROM twitter WHERE account = "'.$username.'"');
    $twitter = mysql_query($query_twitter, $connection) or die(mysql_error());
    $row_twitter = mysql_fetch_assoc($twitter);
    $totalRows_twitter = mysql_num_rows($twitter);
    $twitter_feed = $row_twitter['details'];
  return $twitter_feed;

The twitter_time() function takes the RSS time and converts it to human readable current server time.

//Twitter Time
function twitter_time($rss_time) {
  $time = date('Hm', strtotime($rss_time));
  $date = date('m/d/Y', strtotime($rss_time));
  if($date == system_date()) {
    if(system_time() - $time < 60) {
      $time_result = system_time() - $time;
      if($time_result <= 1) {$time_display = 'about a minute ago';}
      else {$time_display = $time_result.' minutes ago';}
    else {
      $time_result = round(((system_time() - $time) / 60), 0);
      if($time_result == 1) {$time_display = 'about '.$time_result.' hour ago';}
      else {$time_display = 'about '.$time_result.' hours ago';}
  else {
    $time_result = date_difference($date, system_date());
    if($time_result == 1) {$time_display = $time_result.' day ago';}
    else {$time_display = $time_result.' days ago';}

    if($time_result > 7) {
      $date_explode = explode('/', $date);
      if($date_explode[2] == date('Y')) {
        $time = date('g:i A', strtotime($time));
        $date = date('M jS', mktime('00', '00', '00', $date_explode[0], $date_explode[1], $date_explode[2]));
        $time_display = $time.' '.$date;
      else {
        $time = date('g:i A', strtotime($time));
        $date = date('M jS, Y', mktime('00', '00', '00', $date_explode[0], $date_explode[1], $date_explode[2]));
        $time_display = $time.' '.$date;
  return $time_display;


echo twitter_feed('your Twitter username', 'the URL to your Twitter RSS feed page');